Eaton Supercapacitor Energy Storage Modules Reduce Long-Term Costs of Backup Power UPS Systems by Providing Longer Life Alternative to Batteries


Eaton has announced the XLM Supercapacitor Energy Storage Module designed to provide fast discharge for bridge events in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for mission critical applications where even brief downtime can have a major negative impact. The modules offer a highly reliable, green alternative to lead-acid-batteries and are designed to be maintenance free for grid storage and backup power applications. The XLM module can significantly lower the total cost of UPS ownership in cloud computing, data center, hospital UPS, semiconductor industry and other markets.

Supercapacitor-based modules are gaining traction in energy storage backup systems because they can offer longer life than the batteries they replace, said Jason Lee, global product manager, Eatons Electronic Division. Longer life offers several benefits for lowering the total cost of UPS ownership over the systems 20-year life expectancy by reducing battery maintenance, control and replacement costs. Furthermore, the XLM modules are designed to improve power quality for critical applications during voltage spikes and brownouts.

XLM modules enable graceful shutdown of systems, the ability to ride through power transients such as sags, spikes, and dropouts in order to smoothly transition to permanent backup solutions such as fuel cells or diesel generators. These modules contain 69-watt hours and the ability to discharge 7,800 amps.

The XLM modules are self-contained devices housing 23 individual Eaton XL60 supercapacitor cells. Modules are lead-free and compliant with the Reduction of Hazardous Substance Directive (RoHS) for green applications. Additionally, the integrated cell voltage management circuitry enhances reliability for long-life operation with very high efficiency.

While batteries provide a familiar option for storage of bridge power, several new application trends are emerging that require the high-power density and fast discharge that supercapacitor-based energy storage modules are capable of providing.

Next-generation backup motor generators can now start up in less than 15 seconds. Cloud computing data centers now require as little as 15-to-20 seconds to redirect data for backup.

Eaton XLM modules are well matched to provide bridge power because they discharge instantaneously for typical periods of 0.5 seconds to 40 seconds. For example, the semiconductor industry mandates the SEMI F47 standard requiring equipment to ride through voltage sags of up to 2 seconds in order to avert millions of dollars in potential losses. Supercapacitors do not require chemical reactions to discharge energy, making them well-suited for fast responses to switched outages. On the other hand, lead-acid batteries depend on chemical reactions to produce enough energy for the required discharge and are sometimes unable to instantly supply power within short time frames.
Supercapacitor-based modules offer an operating lifetime up to 20 years and virtually unlimited charge and discharge cycles. With integrated cell voltage balancing preinstalled, Eatons XLM energy storage modules are designed so that no monitoring or user controls are required. This eliminates the need for costly battery management systems.

Hospital UPS operators are particularly sensitive to the ongoing maintenance, replacement and disposal cost related to lead acid batteries. Additionally, Eaton XLM modules are light weight and dont require the cooling and ventilation that batteries need, thereby reducing operating costs even further.

The 62-volt (V), 130 farad, 6-milliohm XLM module, with a 4U height by 6.9-inch wide size, is rack mounted in standard 19-inch equipment racks or 23-inch UPS racks.

Connectors are located on the front so modules can quickly be integrated into series for higher voltage or in parallel for longer time configurations.

 

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